Gabriel García Márquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Santiago Nasar, known as a playboy, handsome, rich, and a man of superficial traits in his town of Colombia is the protagonist in Gabriel García Márquez novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. His antagonist, and ultimately his demise, is Angela Vicario. Angela is a common girl with a "helpless air and a poverty of spirit that augured an uncertain future for her" (page 32). In the course of events, Angela is married to Bayardo San Roman, a suitor of sorts, and is found out by Bayardo to be “deflowered” after she is already married to him. To understand the extent of this crime, however, one must understand that in the culture of this small Colombian town, honor is a life or death circumstance. Honor for a woman is her virginity; an extremely important moral practice that is essential to keep pristine. “She only took the time necessary to say the name. She looked for it in the shadows, she found it at first sight among the many, many easily confused names from this world and the other, and she nailed it to the wall with her well-aimed dart, like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written. 'Santiago Nasar,' she said” (page 47). Angela’s previous sexual encounter with a man whom she was not betrothed, blemished her honor. Her brothers, Pedro and Pablo Vicario, felt the weight of their sister’s dishonor heavy on their shoulders. In order to restore their sister’s good name they felt that they needed to dispose of the man who had taken it from her in the first place, and according to Angela that man was Santiago. However, in Gabriel García Márquez novel, the narrator’s description of the setting and Santiago Nasar’s murder suggests that Santiago is innocent. This overpowers Angela’s culturally influenced accusations...

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...e of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus who did not believe his innocence until after his crucifixion. The fourth and final example is a death for the salvation of others. Jesus died to save all people from their previous sins and Santiago died to save Angela from her previous sin of premarital sex. Therefore, both Jesus and Santiago died to repair the damaged relationships of lowly people.
In conclusion, the narrator’s description of the setting and Santiago Nasar’s murder suggests that Santiago is innocent, in comparison to the innocently condemned savior Jesus Christ of biblical times. These descriptions overpower Angela Vicario’s culturally influenced accusations against him, regardless of her dominant narrative voice.

Works Cited

García Márquez, Gabriel. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Trans. Gregory Rabassa. 1983. New York: Vintage International, 2003. Print.
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